Workouts for women should include both strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
Let’s look at both separately.
Strength Training for Women
Women of course have different goals with respect to exercising with weights. Some women want to add muscle without getting too muscular. Don't worry, you won't get bulky or huge. That's a myth. Still other women are into serious bodybuilding while the majority of women are more interested in toning and adding some muscle strength which at the minimum, most women should be doing to prevent osteoporosis from developing. Women have a higher percentage of developing osteoporosis compared to men so it’s important to include some form of strength training early in their lives.
So how should women go about incorporating strength training into their exercise workouts? There are a number of different ways that you can:
These days many quality gyms have excellent fitness classes focusing on just strength training. They’re not only fun, but they are led by qualified instructors who offer a complete and varied strength training workout. These classes are ideal for women who are new to strength training or who like the class atmosphere of training. These classes combine the use of free weights, resistance and other fitness equipment.
If you are not interested in fitness classes or you like to customize your own workout, you can do so using dumbbells, barbells and weight machines. My exercise section has many examples of exercises that women can also do. All you have to do is tailor them to your own fitness goals by customizing the number of sets and reps for each exercise.
Also, most quality gyms should have weight machines that are more suited for or preferred by women. Even some of the machines guys like to use, many women can use too. All you have to do is lower the amount of weight used and increase the repetitions.
You can also vary your leg workout with an upper body workout using the Bosu and free weights. Not only is the bosu great for strength training your legs, but it is challenging and adds variety to your workouts. It’s especially great if you are pressed for time because it can combine an upper body with a lower body workout.
Here’s a concise article from a woman’s point of view explaining why women should strength train: Benefits of Strength Training for Women.
You should be doing some form of cardiovascular exercise. Not only do you need it for your cardio system, but it will help tone your body and help you lose weight or those few extra pounds.
The type of training that you undertake depends on your likes and fitness goals. If you prefer exercise machines, there is a variety for you to choose from. If you prefer fitness classes, these days there are so many different types of cardio classes ranging from aerobic to dance fitness like Salsa and Zumba. Not only are they fun, but you will forget that you are actually exercising and enjoying it.